FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 05, 2005
Contact Pamela Finch
Push for Mental Health Mandate
Overlooks Business Need for Parity
A statement by Jeff Leland, chair
Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care
How incongruous that during National Cover the Uninsured Week, a time
set aside to focus on affordable health insurance as a top legislative
priority, Senator Jeff Klein, Full Circle Health, and the
Bronx-Westchester Coalition would push for legislation that will
increase everyone’s costs while helping only a select few. Here is why:
Proponents say mental health legislation would “level the playing field”
with only a “minor” increase in premiums. However, a 1999 Barents
Group study found that for every 1% premium increase, 30,000 will lose
their health insurance coverage.
- Health insurance mandates, like the mental health mandate,
broaden the scope of New York’s basic health insurance policy by
requiring coverage for specific treatments and services. Lawmakers are not required to study the ramifications of cost or efficacy of this legislation before passage.
- New York is the third most heavily mandated state in the nation with 34 laws on record that increase premiums by 12.2% percent per policyholder annually.
It is time for Senator Klein and others to recognize the hardship of New
York’s three million uninsured and oppose all health insurance
mandates, including Timothy’s Law. The bottom line is not about money,
it’s about giving everyone access to basic, affordable health care.
Editor’s Note: The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care
is the largest, single-issue grassroots coalition in New York State.
The 2,300 (small business owners, sole proprietors and business
associations) represent more than 150,000 working New Yorkers. The group
opposes legislative mandates that lead to rising health insurance